Flex in the Valleys

ANDREW GAINSBURY, ROLLING STOCK MANAGER AT TRANSPORT FOR WALES, TALKS TO RHODRI CLARK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF INTRODUCING CLASS 769s

The first passenger-carrying duty performed by a Class 769 unit, on 16 November, was a milestone for Britain’s rail industry. Passengers, however, might wonder what was so difficult about converting Class 319 electric units to run on non-electrified routes by the addition of diesel generator sets, known as the ‘Flex’ modification.

The industry itself underestimated the complexities. Northern was due to bring the first Class 769s into service in spring 2018, followed by Arriva Trains Wales in June 2018.

Andrew Gainsbury, Transport for Wales’s Rolling Stock Manager, explains that one of the biggest challenges was co-ordinating the work of several parties.

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